The Annual Seder Dinner Discussion

Our family has a tradition of involving everyone (kids and grownups) in a Passover Dinner Discussion. We find it a wonderful way to help the tradition of Passover connect from ancient history to the modern day.

One week before our Seder, I send everyone the Dinner Discussion topic so people can prepare. At the beginning of the Seder, I review the question and give an overview. Then after everyone has their food at the meal, we go around the table and EVERYONE has a chance to answer the question, one by one. It is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to hear what each child has to say, and for the children to hear from the adult. Judaism is wonderful for children to have a voice. From the Four Questions, to the weekly Bar/Bat Mitzvah Torah reading, young children are given the chance to speak to their families and community.

In the past, we have had beautiful answers from young children. For example, in response to the question of “Who would fill Elijah’s chair tonight,” young Elizabeth (6) said, “I am named for my grandmother Elizabeth but I have never met her, I would give up my name in order to have the chance to meet her.” Another child responded to the question, “What is your Dayenu? What are you grateful for?,” answering, “I am so grateful that my parents drive me to all of my after-school activities.”

The discussions are meant to be serious, but fun. The most important aspect is thoughtful, respectful listening to anyone whose turn it is to speak.